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The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) is the unified transplant network established by the United States Congress under the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984. The act called for the network to be operated by a private, non-profit organization under federal contract.

The OPTN is a unique public-private partnership that links all of the professionals involved in the donation and transplantation system. The primary goals of the OPTN are to:

  • increase the effectiveness and efficiency of organ sharing and equity in the national system of organ allocation, and to
  • increase the supply of donated organs available for transplantation.

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), based in Richmond, Virginia, administers the OPTN under contract with the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

UNOS has developed a collaborative policy development, monitoring, and enforcement process for the OPTN, and also has systems in place for collecting medical data on all transplants nationwide, maintaining OPTN membership standards and reviewing membership applications.

The OPTN acts through its Board of Directors. The current UNOS Board also presently serves as the OPTN Board of Directors. Board members, chosen through an open, comprehensive nomination process, bring a wealth of commitment and technical knowledge to guide the OPTN in establishing and maintaining policies and procedures for the field of transplantation.